Thursday 15 March 2012

PC Tablets and Aviation

If you are considering using an EFB at some time in the future then this article will interest you. PC Tablets are the future and they will become the favourite personal computer of choice very soon. They are already finding their way onto the flight decks of airliners all over the world. But is the Apple IOS operating system and Apple's stand alone policy i.e having nothing to do with Microsoft suitable for aviation flight operations?
Not in my opinion.

Tablet Ownership Triples Among College Students

March 14, 2012, 3:01 am

By Nick DeSantis

The number of college students who say they own tablets has more than tripled since a survey taken last year, according to new poll results released today. The Pearson Foundation sponsored the second-annual survey, which asked 1,206 college students and 204 college-bound high-school seniors about their tablet ownership. The results suggest students increasingly prefer to use the devices for reading.

One-fourth of the college students surveyed said they owned a tablet, compared with just 7 percent last year. Sixty-three percent of college students believe tablets will replace textbooks in the next five years—a 15 percent increase over last year’s survey. More than a third said they intended to buy a tablet sometime in the next six months.

This year’s poll also found that the respondents preferred digital books over printed ones. It’s a reversal of last year’s results and goes against findings of other recent studies, which concluded that students tend to choose printed textbooks. The new survey found that nearly six in 10 students preferred digital books when reading for class, compared with one-third who said they preferred printed textbooks.

The new survey results arrive as several new tools have emerged this year to simplify digital publishing, including Apple’s self-publishing software and Inkling’s enterprise platform for large companies.

Harris Interactive, the same firm that conducted last year’s survey on behalf of the Pearson Foundation, conducted the poll in January. Figures for age, sex, household income and other factors were weighted to be representative of the U.S. population of college students.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Thursday 1 March 2012

European Emissions Trading Scheme. With So Many Nations Opposed to it It Is time the Scrap this Unwanted TAX

UK hands out first free aviation emission permits
Airlines with a registry account receive permits to help them comply with EU emissions trading rules
The UK has today begun issuing free carbon permits to airlines participating in the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The first EU Aviation Allowances (EUAAs) have been handed out to a number airlines who have fully completed the process for opening registry accounts, a statement issued by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said.The department was unable to immediately confirm how many permits had been issued or to which operators. Airlines joined the EU ETS at the beginning of this year after Brussels saw off a legal challenge from US carriers. However, the threat remains that some non-EU airlines will not take part after the US Congress declared its opposition to the scheme, China reportedly banned its carriers from taking part, and Russian officials signalled they could do likewise.
A meeting in Moscow last month saw 26 countries, including the US, China, Russia and India, agree to a basket of countermeasures designed to challenge the EU's inclusion of airlines in the ETS. These countries contend the scheme contravenes international aviation treaties and will increase the cost burden on an industry already struggling with rising oil prices and falling passenger numbers. Analysts Thomson Reuters Point Carbon estimate compliance will cost airlines €505m in the first year, although this falls to €360m if the sector uses its full offset quota. Separate EU estimates have suggested the scheme will add no more than around €3 a ticket for long haul flights in and out of the bloc. Around 85 per cent of the permits airlines need in 2012, roughly 183 million EUAAs, will be issued for free, with the remainder being auctioned. DECC has said it expects to auction about seven million EUAAs each year, but will hand out around 18 per cent of the UK's total 57 million allocation to BA, while Virgin and easyJet are expected to receive more than three million EUAAs in 2012.

Russians fires first shot in EU aviation emissions trade war

From Airbus flagship to Chinese pawn

The warning that Hong Kong Airlines (HKA) could scrap its 10 A380 orders in retaliation for European carbon tariffs opens an intriguing new front in the war being waged against the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS).
The threat – reported in a Chinese newspaper – might well prove to be bluster, but it does illustrate the wide political arsenal at the Chinese government’s disposal.
"We cannot do something which is against our country's interests," the newspaper quoted HKA president Yang Jianhong as saying.
In the United States, where opposition to ETS is fiercest, no such pressure can be brought to bear, though individual airlines could, of course, seek to indirectly influence the European Union through their Airbus order-books.
It would be surprising if any did so, however, as privately-run airlines operate on a commercial rather than political basis and, make no mistake, the case against the imposition of carbon trading on non-European carriers is a political rather than financial one.
This column has examined the economics of ETS before and will not repeat the exercise. Suffice to say, in its current guise the scheme will have no significant impact on ticket prices (as well as having scant effect on airline emissions).
The real concern is one of sovereignty and the projection of EU power outside its own borders. The complexity of international law in this area is only heightened by the tangled web of international and bi-lateral aviation treaties signed over the past 70 years or so.
Whatever the legal rights and wrongs of ETS, almost every nation outside Europe feels aggrieved by it, and others may follow the Chinese example, notably Russia.
No Russian carrier has ordered the A380 yet and, if he so desired, Vladimir Putin could easily ensure that situation continued. 
Airbus’ superjumbo sits on 253 orders at present, either very close or very far from making a profit, depending on an estimated break-even sales total for the programme that has ranged from 250 to 420 units delivered.
Quite what pressure European politicians feel to see it reach profitability is another question. 

The End of Silverjet

Silverjet moves from administration to dissolution.
Farewell it was fun whilst it lasted.

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Can Electronic Flight Bags Compromise Air Safety?

Answer: Yes and They Already Have!

Review of Safety Reports Involving Electronic Flight Bags
U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Special Programs Administration John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

From a ground operations perspective support for and operational involvement with EFBs is growing yet the training required of them by European aviation regulators is non existent.

There has already been one incident where the assistance of ground operations staff in the computation of take off performance came close to causing an accident to an airliner. So where are all the checks and whistles as far as a piece of equipment that has air safety critical consequences is concerned? Well EASA AMC 20-25 is one place to start but does this document detail essential training for ground staff that are involved with the operational support of the EFB? No; Paragraph 7.12 details flight crew training but nothing for Ground Operations and yet they are often required to provide operational support the EFB especially out of hours and especially where the failure of the EFB could compromise on time performance.

It must be time whereby EASA rethink their regulatory policy with regards to Ground Operations (starting by changing the title - it is most confusing and most misunderstand it) and formalise the regulation of it on a similar style to that of the FAA.

Modern Cockpits Diminish Pilot Skill Levels

Could Civil Aviation Learn From Military Fly-by-Wire Pilot Training?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pilots' "automation addiction" has eroded their flying skills to the point that they sometimes don't know how to recover from stalls and other mid-flight problems, say pilots and safety officials. The weakened skills have contributed to hundreds of deaths in airline crashes in the last five years.
Some 51 "loss of control" accidents occurred in which planes stalled in flight or got into unusual positions from which pilots were unable to recover, making it the most common type of airline accident, according to the International Air Transport Association.
"We're seeing a new breed of accident with these state-of-the art planes," said Rory Kay, an airline captain and co-chair of a Federal Aviation Administration advisory committee on pilot training. "We're forgetting how to fly."
Opportunities for airline pilots to maintain their flying proficiency by manually flying planes are increasingly limited, the FAA committee recently warned. Airlines and regulators discourage or even prohibit pilots from turning off the autopilot and flying planes themselves, the committee said.
Fatal airline accidents have decreased dramatically in the U.S. over the past decade. However, The Associated Press interviewed pilots, industry officials and aviation safety experts who expressed concern about the implications of decreased opportunities for manual flight, and reviewed more than a dozen loss-of-control accidents around the world.
Safety experts say they're seeing cases in which pilots who are suddenly confronted with a loss of computerized flight controls don't appear to know how to respond immediately, or they make errors — sometimes fatally so.
A draft FAA study found pilots sometimes "abdicate too much responsibility to automated systems." Because these systems are so integrated in today's planes, one malfunctioning piece of equipment or a single bad computer instruction can suddenly cascade into a series of other failures, unnerving pilots who have been trained to rely on the equipment.
The study examined 46 accidents and major incidents, 734 voluntary reports by pilots and others as well as data from more than 9,000 flights in which a safety official rides in the cockpit to observe pilots in action. It found that in more than 60 percent of accidents, and 30 percent of major incidents, pilots had trouble manually flying the plane or made mistakes with automated flight controls.
A typical mistake was not recognizing that either the autopilot or the auto-throttle — which controls power to the engines — had disconnected. Others failed to take the proper steps to recover from a stall in flight or to monitor and maintain airspeed.
The airline industry is suffering from "automation addiction," Kay said.
In the most recent fatal airline crash in the U.S., in 2009 near Buffalo, N.Y., the co-pilot of a regional airliner programmed incorrect information into the plane's computers, causing it to slow to an unsafe speed. That triggered a stall warning. The startled captain, who hadn't noticed the plane had slowed too much, responded by repeatedly pulling back on the control yoke, overriding two safety systems, when the correct procedure was to push forward.
An investigation later found there were no mechanical or structural problems that would have prevented the plane from flying if the captain had responded correctly. Instead, his actions caused an aerodynamic stall. The plane plummeted to earth, killing all 49 people aboard and one on the ground.
Two weeks after the New York accident, a Turkish Airlines Boeing 737 crashed into a field while trying to land in Amsterdam. Nine people were killed and 120 injured. An investigation found that one of the plane's altimeters, which measures altitude, had fed incorrect information to the plane's computers.
That, in turn, caused the auto-throttle to reduce speed to a dangerously slow level so that the plane lost lift and stalled. Dutch investigators described the flight's three pilots' "automation surprise" when they discovered the plane was about to stall. They hadn't been closely monitoring the airspeed.
Last month, French investigators recommended that all pilots get mandatory training in manual flying and handling a high-altitude stall. The recommendations were in response to the 2009 crash of an Air France jet flying from Brazil to Paris. All 228 people aboard were killed.
An investigation found that airspeed sensors fed bad information to the Airbus A330's computers. That caused the autopilot to disengage suddenly and a stall warning to activate.
The co-pilot at the controls struggled to save the plane, but because he kept pointing the plane's nose up, he actually caused the stall instead of preventing it, experts said. Despite the bad airspeed information, which lasted for less than a minute, there was nothing to prevent the plane from continuing to fly if the pilot had followed the correct procedure for such circumstances, which is to continue to fly levelly in the same direction at the same speed while trying to determine the nature of the problem, they said.
In such cases, the pilots and the technology are failing together, said former US Airways Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, whose precision flying is credited with saving all 155 people aboard an Airbus A320 after it lost power in a collision with Canada geese shortly after takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport two years ago.
"If we only look at the pilots — the human factor — then we are ignoring other important factors," he said. "We have to look at how they work together."
The ability of pilots to respond to the unexpected loss or malfunction of automated aircraft systems "is the big issue that we can no longer hide from in aviation," said Bill Voss, president of the Flight Safety Foundation in Alexandria, Va. "We've been very slow to recognize the consequence of it and deal with it."
The foundation, which is industry supported, promotes aviation safety around the world.
Airlines are also seeing smaller incidents in which pilots waste precious time repeatedly trying to restart the autopilot or fix other automated systems when what they should be doing is "grasping the controls and flying the airplane," said Bob Coffman, another member of the FAA pilot training committee and an airline captain.
Paul Railsback, operations director at the Air Transport Association, which represents airlines, said, "We think the best way to handle this is through the policies and training of the airlines to ensure they stipulate that the pilots devote a fair amount of time to manually flying. We want to encourage pilots to do that and not rely 100 percent on the automation. I think many airlines are moving in that direction."
In May, the FAA proposed requiring airlines to train pilots on how to recover from a stall, as well as expose them to more realistic problem scenarios.
But other new regulations are going in the opposite direction. Today, pilots are required to use their autopilot when flying at altitudes above 24,000 feet, which is where airliners spend much of their time cruising. The required minimum vertical safety buffer between planes has been reduced from 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet. That means more planes flying closer together, necessitating the kind of precision flying more reliably produced by automation than human beings.
The same situation is increasingly common closer to the ground.
The FAA is moving from an air traffic control system based on radar technology to more precise GPS navigation. Instead of time-consuming, fuel-burning stair-step descents, planes will be able to glide in more steeply for landings with their engines idling. Aircraft will be able to land and take off closer together and more frequently, even in poor weather, because pilots will know the precise location of other aircraft and obstacles on the ground. Fewer planes will be diverted.
But the new landing procedures require pilots to cede even more control to automation.
"Those procedures have to be flown with the autopilot on," Voss said. "You can't afford a sneeze on those procedures."
Even when not using the new procedures, airlines direct their pilots to switch on the autopilot about a minute and a half after takeoff when the plane reaches about 1,000 feet, Coffman said. The autopilot generally doesn't come off until about a minute and a half before landing, he said.
Pilots still control the plane's flight path. But they are programming computers rather than flying with their hands.
Opportunities to fly manually are especially limited at commuter airlines, where pilots may fly with the autopilot off for about 80 seconds out of a typical two-hour flight, Coffman said.
But it is the less experienced first officers starting out at smaller carriers who most need manual flying experience. And, airline training programs are focused on training pilots to fly with the automation, rather than without it. Senior pilots, even if their manual flying skills are rusty, can at least draw on experience flying older generations of less automated planes.
Adding to concerns about an overreliance on automation is an expected pilot shortage in the U.S. and many other countries. U.S. airlines used to be able to draw on a pool of former military pilots with extensive manual flying experience. But more pilots now choose to stay in the armed forces, and corporate aviation competes for pilots with airlines, where salaries have dropped.
Changing training programs to include more manual flying won't be enough because pilots spend only a few days a year in training, Voss said. Airlines will have to rethink their operations fundamentally if they're going to give pilots realistic opportunities to keep their flying skills honed, he said.

Monday 27 February 2012

Fatigue and Circadian Cycles


Flight operations and shift work/patterns that involve irregular work hours, night flights and early starts or transmeridian flights force pilots and shift workers to deviate from their normal work/sleep schedule and disrupt their biological rhythms. Many of our biological and behavioral functions experience variations throughout the day, including: sleep, body temperature, alertness levels and mental and physical performances. Many of these functions vary systematically in a cycle of about 24 hours and are called "circadian rhythms" (from the Latin words "circa" which means "about" and "dies" which means "a day"). These circadian variations are governed by a biological clock located in the brain. Crew members and ground operations shift workers who work abnormal schedules often experience “shift-lag syndrome,” which is characterized by such symptoms as feelings of fatigue, sleepiness, insomnia, disorientation, digestive trouble, irritability, reduced mental agility and reduced performance efficiency. Similar symptoms labeled “jet-lag syndrome” are often experienced by crew members after transmeridian flights.
The mechanism underlying circadian rhythms is called the “biological clock” or the “circadian clock.” Research has shown that the biological clock is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus (a gland). The biological clock is probably the result of human evolutionary adaptation to the solar day.
Laboratory studies have shown that, in the absence of any time cues (i.e., no sunlight or social time cues), the biological clock for most humans operates on a cycle of about 25 hours.
Under ordinary circumstances, however, the biological clock is reset by about one hour each day such that the biological clock is synchronized with the 24-hour solar day. The cues that serve to reset the biological clock are called “zeitgebers,” a German word that means “time givers.” Evidence supports morning sunlight as the most important zeitgeber. Other cues in the social environment that serve as zeitgebers have not been identified with any amount of certainty. However, cues that may serve as zeitgebers include work/sleep schedule, eating schedule, social activities and, in the absence of other cues, subtle environmental factors such as building vibration and traffic noise.
Although the biological clock can routinely be reset by about one hour each day, it cannot easily and quickly be reset by the large time quantities that are needed following significant changes in work/sleep schedule or a transmeridian flight. The slow adaptation of the circadian clock contributes to problems in conducting night operations and transmeridian flights.


Many laboratory studies have demonstrated circadian variations in biological functions such as body temperature, cell division and hormone secretion. Also, both laboratory studies and field studies have demonstrated variations related to circadian rhythms in behavioral functions such as alertness, reaction time, short-term memory, long-term memory, search tasks, vigilance and sleep. The circadian variation throughout a normal solar day is not the same for all biological and behavioral functions. There are, however, general trends in certain bodily functions/parameters likely related to circadian relations.
The body temperatures of individuals adapted to local time and to a normal work/sleep cycle (i.e., sleep at night) vary systematically with circadian rhythms. Body temperature is lowest during the early morning hours from about 2 am to 6 am and starts to rise from this low point at about the normal waking hour. Thereafter, body temperature tends to rise until late afternoon or early evening, at which point it starts a decline that continues until it reaches its low point in the early morning hours. The circadian variation in body temperature is virtually the same for active and non-active individuals. It has been suggested that body temperature is an indicator of the body’s readiness to perform work.
The results of research support several conclusions about circadian rhythms that are useful in maximizing pilot performance. Circadian variations in work efficiency are not the same for all tasks. Also, under a normal work/sleep schedule and complete adaptation to the local solar day, performance efficiency does not remain the same throughout the day. For many tasks, performance efficiency tends to increase from the normal wake-up time in the morning to a peak in the early or late afternoon. Performance efficiency on some tasks shows a temporary decline following lunch time, even if a meal is not eaten. It is important to point out that work efficiency in these studies was tested periodically (and briefly) throughout the day (about 8 am through 9 pm), so fatigue was not a factor affecting performance. Performance efficiency tends to decline to a low point in the early morning hours ( 2-6 am). The important implication of this research is that circadian rhythms influence performance efficiency even when the circadian variations are in synchrony with the solar day and the normal work/sleep schedule.
The effects of circadian rhythms on safety are difficult to assess because they are virtually always confounded with other contributory factors. However, the following findings suggest that the effects of circadian rhythms are, in part, responsible for:
The number of motor vehicle accidents on roadways peaks between 2 am and 6 am and again around 3 pm. These are the times of maximum sleepiness due to circadian rhythms
Risk of injury is 30 percent higher during night shifts than during day shifts, and the difference increases over successive night shifts until the difference reaches a high of 39 percent increased risk of injury on the fourth night.
Research also has demonstrated that a host of problems occur when circadian rhythms are not in synchrony with the work/sleep schedule imposed by a person’s job. Such asynchrony can result from a change in work schedule, transmeridian flight, or a combination of the two. Such asynchrony is important for two reasons. First, the job may require an individual to perform work at a phase during the circadian cycle when performance efficiency is low. Second, disrupting the normal work/sleep schedule decreases the amount and quality of sleep, which leads to fatigue .

Night Operations

Night operations create a host of problems for flight crews and Ground Operations shift workers. The primary problem is having to work efficiently and safely at a point in time when the work requirements are not in synchrony with circadian rhythms. Under worst-case conditions, crew members and shift workers must perform demanding tasks during the early morning hours (2 am to 6 am) when their biological functions and performance efficiency are at their lowest level. This problem cannot be quickly solved by adaptation of the biological clock. Complete adjustment to night work requires at least 21 night shifts in a row with no days off. Adjustment of the biological clock does not even commence until about 10 days after a shift change. In fact, it has been argued that crewmembers never fully adapt to night operations because:

(a) they do not stay on the night shift long enough to adapt fully; and

(b) they revert to a regular routine during their days off, thereby stopping or reversing the adaptation process.

In addition, the light-dark cycle works against adaptation to night operations. The morning sunlight experienced during the drive home from work prevents adaptation by resetting the biological clock back to the normal solar day.
As stated earlier, prolonged asynchrony between circadian rhythms and work requirements causes crew members to experience shift-lag syndrome, which is characterized by feelings of fatigue, sleepiness, insomnia, disorientation, digestive trouble, irritability, reduced mental agility and reduced performance efficiency
Sleep difficulties are a major problem for crew members and shift workers who participate in night operations. Both the duration and quality of sleep are affected. Daytime sleep following night operations is generally of poor quality due to shorter durations than normal night sleep and because it is more susceptible to interruption, which results in fewer and shorter periods of deep sleep. After a period of night work and daytime sleep, a sleep deficit can accumulate that results in cumulative fatigue. This cumulative fatigue can further exacerbate the difficulty of maintaining efficient and safe performance during night operations.
There is some evidence that the effect of night work is more severe among older workers, and shift workers are more tired when driving to and from work than non-shift workers.
For the reasons discussed above, the adaptation to night work is never complete. More complete adaptation can be achieved for permanent night work than rotating shift work or irregular work hours, but the requirements of air operations seldom enable flight crew members to work the same shift for more than a few days.

Jet lag

Symptoms of jet lag include feelings of fatigue and inertia, difficulties in concentrating and sleeping, gastrointestinal problems and a general malaise. The syndrome is distinct from so-called “travel fatigue,” which is the tiredness experienced after a long and often stressful journey. Travel fatigue occurs for both transmeridian flights (east/west across time zones) and translatitude flights (north/south with little or no time change). With travel fatigue, there may also be residual stiffness due to remaining in a cramped posture for a long time. The effects of jet-lag syndrome on the individual's mental performance may be subliminal and go unnoticed while other symptoms may be more obvious during the period of adjustment to the new time zone.
Under normal conditions, the biological clock is in phase with the environmental synchronizers. The period of least efficiency coincides with the nocturnal period, and the period of optimal efficiency coincides with the diurnal period. At the end of a transmeridian flight and for a period thereafter, the circadian system and environmental synchronizers are out of phase.
Table 1 illustrates the mismatch between “body clock time” and local clock time following a transmeridian flight that covers eight time zones in an eastward direction.
Table 1. Mismatch between local times and “body clock time” immediately after an 8-hour time-zone transition eastwards.

 Origin Local Time
 Normal Desire
 Destination local time
 Begin to wake
 Peak activity
 Peak activity

As stated earlier, the biological clock does not immediately adjust to new time zones. The amount of time required for the biological clock to adjust to a new time zone depends on the individual, the direction of flight, the number of time zones crossed and the individual’s exposure to environmental cues.
The direction of the time zone change has been shown to have a substantial affect on adaptation time. Adaptation after eastbound flights is about 50 percent slower than after westbound flights. For eastbound flights, about 1.5 days of recovery time is required for each time zone change compared to about one day of recovery time for each time zone change in westbound flights. The difference in recovery time is due, in part, to the fact that the free-running cycle of the biological clock is longer than 24 hours. The difference is largely a function of differences in adapting to a new sleep schedule. Indeed, the adjustment after eastbound flight requires a crewmember to go to sleep and get up earlier while adjustment after westbound flight requires a crewmember to go to sleep and get up at later hours.
In addition to this differing rate of adaptation due to direction of travel, psycho-physiological functions adjust at various rates depending on the individual. It is also relatively common for travelers to adapt in the wrong direction, such as delaying 16 hours instead of advancing 8 hours.
Defenses Against Circadian Rhythm Disruptions

A number of strategies can be used to counteract the effects of transmeridian and translongitudinal flight. To counteract disruptions to your circadian rhythms:
Know your normal body clock times for sleeping and eating by using the Body Clock Questionnaire (BCQ)
Determine how you are adjusting to local time during layovers by using the Layover Adjustment  Questionnaire (LAQ)
Based on the BCQ and LAQ, attempt to modify your sleeping and eating schedules to adjust for maximum alertness. Try to only eat meals and drink coffee or tea at times when your sleep will not be adversely affected.
Use good nap management before and during flight or during your shift (if allowed). Coordinate rest and meal periods with other crew members or shift staff.
Exercise at appropriate times
Expose yourself to sunlight at appropriate times

Summary of Key Points

Many human biological and behavioral functions vary regularly and systematically over a period of about 24 hours. These variations are called circadian rhythms
Circadian rhythms persist even in the absence of all environmental and social time cues
Circadian rhythms are internally generated by a self-sustaining or autonomous biological clock located in the hypothalamus
In the absence of all time cues, the biological clock has a natural cycle of about 25 hours. With normal time cues, however, the biological clock is reset each day such that it is in synchrony with the solar day.
Changes in work shifts and transmeridian flight result in asynchrony between a crewmember’s circadian rhythms and both work requirements and environmental time cues
This lack of synchrony results in shift-lag syndrome (due to changes in work schedule) and jet-lag syndrome (due to transmeridian flights)
The biological clock and the associated circadian variations adapt slowly following changes in the work schedule and following transmeridian flights
Adaptation after eastbound travel is about 50 percent slower than after westbound flight -- adaptation time following eastbound travel is about 1.5 days for each time zone change whereas adaptation time following westbound travel is about one day for each time zone change
The adaptation rate is not the same for all of the circadian biological and behavioral variations. The resultant disharmony among these functions contributes to jet-lag syndrome.

Russia’s Putin strongly warns against military intervention in Syria, attack on Iran - The Washington Post

In between a busy vote 'management' schedule Vladimir Putin manages to say this:
Russia’s Putin strongly warns against military intervention in Syria, attack on Iran - The Washington Post

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Fuel Conservation

With forecasters predicting a rise to $200 per barrel of crude oil flying for the average person could soon become an unaffordable luxury.

oil at $200 a barrel human ingenuity and alternatives

Are you an operator operating to JAR/EU-OPS or variants thereof ? Then various techniques exist where operators can take full advantage of the fuel allowances and reserves that are available to you. 
In accordance with detailed risk analyses large savings are achievable. Want to know more ? Contact me or leave a comment and I will get back to you.

Iran Manipulation of Oil Supplies Poses a Serious Threat to Aviation

iran energy feud could spell $150 per barrel

Fuel surcharging will make the passenger pay for extremist politics Iranian style. Airlines that resist fuel surcharging will feel the pinch and may not survive if the price hike is protracted.

50 Years today Since the First American was Launched into Space

Congratulations to John Glen

UN Inspectors Unable to Visit Iranian Nuclear Site

The latest from the mad leaders of Iran.
A military attack on Iran must be a high probability and should this happen Iranian airspace will become a no fly zone and Iranian retaliatory actions on the Gulf States will also have a massive affect on aviation especially flying operations between Europe and the Persian Gulf. Iraq is likely to become overloaded as traffic detours to avoid Iran.
Operators need to start contingency planning now to ensure business continuity.

Monday 20 February 2012

Pointless Modification of the Year Award

Goes to Lufthansa and L3 Communications for the E-Taxy A320
Two electric motors and gearboxes have been fitted so that the aircraft can taxy without running the main engines. What for?
Look No Engines

Friday 17 February 2012

Volcanic Activity

From the Global Volcanism Program
Link to the Global Volcanism Website

Thursday 16 February 2012

Unstabilised Approach: Late Runway or Approach Type Change

Interesting article from Skybray (EUROCONTROL)

BBC News - Concerns over pilot fatigue

BBC News - Concerns over pilot fatigue

Read this letter to the PACTS (Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety) regarding concerns over EASA CRD (Comment Response Document) on the FTL (Flight Time Limitations) which will become EASA OPS ORO.FTL (if it is allowed to). Pilot fatigue management is a hot potato in Brussels and rule making on this subject has yet to be passed and published.

Letter to the PACTS from Capt R Williams Chairman of the Air Safety Group This letter has been accepted by the Transport Committee.

Published with permission from the Air Safety group 

Iran strengthening ties with al–Qaeda, say intelligence chiefs - Telegraph

Iran strengthening ties with al–Qaeda, say intelligence chiefs - Telegraph